It’s a Given

It’s got to be summer.
The windows are down.
“Chicken Fried”
or “Brown Eyed Girl”
or something that is
irrevocably
warm, wind-in-air
plastered smiles,
hands raised through a
sun roof
good
is playing off the radio.

This is my version,
so we’re driving down the Causeway.
And the reeds are whipping
to and fro
and your fingers are locked with mine
hand is raised to your lips,
because you know I like that.
And you let me sing,
you smile when I dance in the passenger seat.

We hit the bridge
the same time as the chorus.
I look out over the river
I’ve grown up
and around
and between from
and thank God for the marshland.
Thank God for the tiny hometown
where I spent summers feeding ducks,
writing on the porch swing,
letting the sun kiss me in all the places
you will touch so tenderly.

And when we reach the curb at my mom-mom’s,
you walk around the car,
open my door
and start singing to me,
as I lead you down the street,
past my church,
holding your hand,
taking you through my childhood,
enjoying a summer day,
realizing love can be
warm, no traffic,
fireflies at the first sign of dusk,
laughter in the
moon light
good.

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Stay, just a little bit longer.

It is 12:07AM and I am
listening to Dion’s cover
of “Dream Lover” and
writing about graveyards.

Tell me in the future,
when I rake my fingers through my bangs,
have the pen behind my ear
and the desk light focused on the manuscript,
you’ll join me in the study,

Tell me
you’ll sing
“I want a dream lover,
so I don’t have to dream alone.”

Tell me
you’ll come up behind me,
kiss my head
and then retreat to the couch
that sits in my secluded space.

That you won’t leave
when the well is running low.
That you will stay when the ink
on the quill has dried.

Promise me
that you’ll stay
even if the writing’s dark,
even if Johnny Mathis fills the space
meant for shadows.

Promise me
you’ll stay when the ghost take over the pages
and the heads roll between the lines.

Love me
because even though I write death scenes
on nights like these,
when the music is happy
and my fingers are crying,

I’m a simple girl
who lives for fairytales
and wants her own happy ending.

Sap and Syrup

I once wrote a poem
about how I wanted to hold hands
with a boy whose hands were colder than mine.

And I once wrote a poem
about being curled up on my bed
with someone who stared into my eyes
like he had never seen the color green before;
whose laugh I can still pick out,
with music blasting and crowds of people.

I wrote several poems
about a boy who let me trace the scar
on his right hand over and over
and sang beautifully to whatever song came on 104.5
and changed the radio when I needed to hear “Clarity”
and made me hate it forever after.

And now I’m left writing sad songs,
and morbid poetry.
Domestic violence
and sexual assault in the work place.
I am left trying to impress people
I fangirl over.

And that is not expression.

I am left with erotica spilling from my lips
and onto keys
and names like soft spoken inkwells
because I’m too shy to do slam poetry,
with a confident voice.

But on days when it’s raining
know this:
That I will fit into the curve of your side
and we can watch whatever (even Friends)
and listen to whatever
(but please not rap)
and if you just run your fingers through my hair
or drape an arm over my side
that’s all I want,
that’s all I’ll write.

And maybe, for once, I’ll know what happiness tastes like
without writing about biting collarbones
and meshing flesh.